Tweetenfreude: How Following People We Love to Hate Can Help Our Careers

Can hate-following be good for your career? It can, if you do it the right way. "Tweetenfreude," coined by Saya Weissman at Digiday, refers to the charge we get out of following people we dislike. While it might seem like a waste of time and productivity, there are some surprising ways to make the hate-follow work for you and your job.

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(Photo Credit: Kooroshication/Flickr)

First of all, understand that if hate-following is going to cause you to become uncontrollably furious and have heart palpitations, then perhaps the practice is inadvisable for you. But if you are able to step back and not let the trolls drive you crazy, hate-following can have its advantages.

Controversy and Motivation

In some ways Twitter (and other social media sites) is a safe place to explore and discuss controversial issues. Instead of hiding at home, because we are afraid that getting into that political discussion at the local pub will end up in a drunken brawl, we can have that debate or argument online. And who better to have it with than the dolt who does not see it our way?

Not only are we able to communicate and at least read, if not agree with, the viewpoints of others, we may go back to our tasks at hand with renewed vigor and productivity. If not taken too seriously, these encounters may fuel our creativity.

Less Stress

Get too involved in online rage, and your stress levels with likely go up. However, a healthier way to look at it is "a healthy corrective or a palate cleanser after a frustrating day at work." And if you can de-stress after a frustrating day at work, you will be better equipped to come back to work feeling energetic and productive the next day.

What Not to Do

Of course, following people we love to hate may also serve as lessons in how not to act online. If you hate the guy who does nothing other than promote himself, you will do more than simply promote your company when using the corporate Twitter account. The woman who includes "IMPORTANT" on every single tweet is supplying the rest of us with plenty of evidence of why we shouldn't do this. And the guy who annoys you because he overshares everything, including the details of how his breakfast disagreed with him -- well, you weren't going to do that anyway.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you use Twitter at work? How do you decide whom to follow on your business account? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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